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Post-mortem Privacy: Exploring Deceased’s Privacy in a Digital World (CPDP Panel)

January 24, 2014 @ 8:45 am - 10:00 am

This panel explores the issues surrounding post mortem privacy (PMP): privacy of the deceased in the digital realm. This concept has only recently become a subject of concern in various disciplines, including law, sociology, psychology, computer sciences, anthropology, and forensics. The panel aims to tackle and explain how the competing privacy interests of the deceased, bereaved family, heirs and society should be dealt with following death.  It will assess and question the value and importance of the various aspects of privacy in digital remains from personal interest and public interest perspectives. Panellists, drawn from a diverse range of disciplines and interests, will explore the challenges posed to the values and aspects of privacy by our interactions with digital technology and post-death phenomena, specifically digital legacy, inheritance, identity, property, mourning and the repurposing or further uses of digital remains.

This interdisciplinary panel envisages tackling the following PMP-related challenges:

  • The bequest, inheritance and repurposing of personal data (such as emails, photos and social network site interactions) in the context of the death of technology users;
  • Technologically-mediated mourning and memorialisation and posthumously maintained bonds with the dead;
  • Comparative legal issues related to the phenomenon of PMP (personality, data protection, copyright);
  • PMP themes relating to the interests of victims experienced in global disasters, whether survivors, the deceased or next-of-kin.

The panel is part of the seventh annual Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference, taking place in Brussels from 22nd to 24th January 2014, entitled Reforming Data Protection – the Global Perspective.

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